I spent University life, outside of class, at borjo Coffee House. The cafè was located near Old Dominion University. It was located across from the campus bookstore. It was a hangout for many of the student body. It was there I hung with Scott Miles. Scott is a piano player and currently graduate student – studying Neuroscience in Washington D.C.
I remember discussing philosophy with him over cups of coffee – other members in our Bohemian group; included David Ferreira and Scott’s girlfriend, now, wife Melissa Addessi Miles. He and his wife recently gave birth to a second child. I often wonder what they are up to. I hope life is good for them.
Scott’s major influences were John Lennon and Bob Dylan – at least he spoke about them often enough. He also said he enjoyed listening to the great jazz masterpiece “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. He said someone great listened to the album the morning of each day. I forget who he said it was.
Scott recorded an album. The album’s name is “If Not Now” The name of comes from a Rabbinic saying by Hillel the Elder “ If I am not for myself, who will be for me. If I am only for myself, then who am I – and if not now when.”
I remember, during album recording, Scott laying down a track and attempting to decide album-chord-progression or something (at least from what I remember.) He came to the conclusion and said, “if we are going choose a Miles to go to for advice we will go to that Miles.“
The album sessions were fun. I recorded a lot of video for it. I heard many of the tracks from the album live at H2O – a bar right across the neighborhood apartment complex where I lived. He was the best of the place – at least to my mind.
The head engineer and sax player on the recording was Avellino Pitts – another great from H2O. Sadly, Avellino died not too long ago.
Avellino was quite the guy – a talented sax player, a charisma expert and occasionally a big fibber. I loved him, even though we had a falling out. I remember once when trying to get hold of Avellino, Scott and I would joke about him going under cover again.
Concerning his knack of spy skill, Scott relayed his difficulty in spotting Avellino, when he started to walk up to the stage during his performance. I believe it was also when he met Avellino for the first time “ I heard this amazing sax. I was like this is what I have always envisioned for my album. Then comes this guy from out of the crowd. He was so dark you could barely see him and he just wailed.”
My favorite Track on the album is probably “Plato’s Cave.” It is a song with a simple melody, but I believe it is the best album track. I believe it would be a hit – if a major radio station discovered it. The song has a lot of truth to it.
The album may be enjoyed by both the religious and the non-religious. Scott, himself, drifts towards Reformed Judaism. He called himself a Pantheist quite a bit. (i.e. God is everything and everyone is God.) I believe he is probably a mixture of the two.
That being said, I do not think anyone believes or disbelieves in God 100 percent of the time. Belief and unbelief are complicated affairs – both sides seem to underestimate. Some choose extremes to attempt to pretend this is not so.
Personally, I think everyone should be honest about it. Though, there are definite truths, like evolution. No one can, however, prove or disprove the existence of a entity at the start of it all. You hit a great big impenetrable and indestructible logic wall.
Scott’s song “Nothing” discusses the struggle between belief and unbelief. I think he knows that the topic is difficult to state – one way or the other.
I think the track, on the album, closest to his and his wife’s heart is probably “Stumbled Into You.” The song is about his wife. We both spent hours syncing up his piano to the song the day before his wedding. It went beautifully. Scott insisted it be dead on-point, to the finger hit of each piano key. Scott is a perfectionist.
His attitude toward perfection enabled him to be a very good student. This also has caused him to never officially release the album. I think it should be released though. I would encourage him just to get it out there. Then I would suggest that he start recording another.
He could just be busy. Neuroscience is not a simple field. I am sure it takes many hours of study and hard work to do well.
I love the guy. Though, we fail to talk as much as we used to. We both said some really stupid things to each other over the years and had our text arguments. All that seems trivial now.
Scott and I both, even then, wanted a kinder and gentler world. We both wanted world peace. I also think we both believed in better distribution of wealth. I am also, probably with him more on politics, than I used to be. I am far more left, though I was left then, than I used to be. You grow and learn each day. That is how it should be.
Scott is one of the most interesting people I met. I admire the guy.
To hear the album, go to “The Scott Miles Foundation,” Facebook page. The link is below.